One of the most popular set of portable hand controls I’ve come across is the Freedom Staff Handicap Driving Kit. I’ll go over the good and bad points here and you can decide for yourself whether it’s for you. Remember I don’t personally sell it myself.
Firstly, after you’ve finished reading my review I recommend you doing a nifty little Google search to find out more information/reviews yourself – but this page will give a good insight as to whether it’s for you. I’ll start with the benefits and then the negatives.
One initial benefit which draws people into buying this device is that it’s very cheap and can usually be bought for a little under 300 dollars. There are no installation costs (which for permanent models tend to cost at least 200 dollars) and the device is half the price of permanent installations.
Before I get too far… you can read other disabled driver’s reviews here.
Generally a cheaper set of permanently installed hand controls will cost around 700-800 dollars which means you’re saving 400-500 dollars at least.
Secondly you can purchase them straight from websites online (Amazon is the cheapest I believe) which means that you don’t have to drive for hours to a local disabled car dealership.
This is specifically useful if you don’t have any disabled car shops near you or you have a busy schedule.
The kit is delivered straight to your house and contains instructions which allow for its installation within around 15 minutes.
The set is portable which means that you can switch between able bodied and disabled as quickly as you can remove and attach the car hand controls.
No permanent installations are required which usually prohibits regular driving or at the very least substantially reduces the value of your car.
Finally they do the job, and although I won’t argue that they have the functionality of some of the more expensive devices on the market it’s the difference between getting a premium product which costs substantially more for a slight increase in functionality or paying much less for a slightly inferior product which still does what you want it to do.
- You can find out more about portable driving control kits here.
Now let’s take a look into the negatives of this product. Firstly there’s the lack of functionality and ease of use which is limited by its inferior assistive technology.
Devices which are installed permanently and integrated with some of the car’s systems allow for a greater spectrum of possibilities with regards to both the technology used and in creating a significantly easier driving experience.
To start with you can classify the Freedom Staff’s device as a ‘basic, manual’ product – whereas the technologies on offer by more extensive car modifications are mechanical linkage, electronic and hydraulic driving equipment.
- Instead of just pushing and pulling on the hand control’s set to operate the brake and gas there are numerous different input method types.
You may also need to look into buying additional car equipment because the kits comes with a limited set (for example it lacks a pedal guard which is vital for safe driving for people who cannot use their legs).
With some GuidoSimplex devices (such as their acceleration pen) you can just press a button, whereas with Mobility Products and Design you can rest your hand on a padded lever with your palm and fingers enclosed within several foam pins and simply push forward on one of the foam pads while resting your hands the entire time.
The Freedom Staff kit offers no extra aesthetic customization options which won’t affect most people but will be a problem for some.
Take the Menox hand control which can have the pattern, material and color all changed to blend into your car’s natural surroundings and you’ll see that the possibilities for customization are near endless with some devices – not with this one though – it’s a practical, cheap and functional product.
It’s practical for able bodied and disabled use, it’s certainly cheap (and looks it too) and it’s functional even though it certainly isn’t as easy to operate and requires a little more effort than its competition.